61 jobs for P.E.I.

VAC head­quar­ters in Char­lot­te­town to get new jobs

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - NEWS - BY JIM DAY jday@the­guardian.pe.ca Twit­ter.com/PEIGuardian

Af­ter a string of job cuts and belt tight­en­ing at Vet­er­ans Af­fairs Canada Head­quar­ters in Char­lot­te­town, the ma­jor P.E.I. em­ployer will soon be grow­ing by 61 new em­ploy­ees.

Min­is­ter of Vet­er­ans Af­fairs Erin O’Toole told em­ploy­ees jammed into the atrium of Daniel J. Mac­Don­ald Build­ing Thurs­day that the new po­si­tions are be­ing added to sup­port the depart­ment’s dis­abil­ity ap­pli­ca­tion and case man­age­ment pro­cesses for mil­i­tary vet­er­ans and for­mer mem­bers of the RCMP.

How­ever, the min­is­ter did not shed light on the pace or size of any fu­ture down­siz­ing at the head­quar­ters.

He would only note that with the hir­ing of 61 new em­ploy­ees, the “level of em­ploy­ment at Vet­er­ans Af­fairs Canada has re­mained rel­a­tively static.’’

The most re­cent sur­vey of fed­eral em­ploy­ees shows Vet­er­ans Af­fairs Canada is an in­creas­ingly un­happy work place with plung­ing morale and a fraz­zled work­force.

Of the 61 new em­ploy­ees, 33 (20 per­ma­nent and 13 tem­po­rary) will work on dis­abil­ity ben­e­fits ap­pli­ca­tions.

One per­ma­nent case man­ager will be hired in Char­lot­te­town to ded­i­cate more time and at­ten­tion to meet­ing the in­di­vid­ual needs of mil­i­tary and RCMP vet­er­ans liv­ing in P.E.I.

Six­teen case man­age­ment sup­port staff will be hired to as­sist case man­agers across Canada.

The re­main­ing 11 em­ploy­ees head­ing to the head­quar­ters will help sup­port the process of hir­ing, train­ing, and en­gag­ing the new em­ploy­ees.

“Canada’s vet­er­ans need to know we have their backs,’’ says O’Toole.

Vet­er­ans Af­fairs Canada pro­vides dis­abil­ity ben­e­fits to­tal­ing about $2 bil­lion a year to ap­prox­i­mately 180,000 in­di­vid­u­als, in­clud­ing mil­i­tary vet­er­ans, Cana­dian Armed Forces serv­ing per­son­nel, for­mer RCMP, and RCMP per­son­nel and sur­viv­ing fam­ily mem­bers.

Across Canada, Vet­er­ans Af­fairs will hire 101 dis­abil­ity ben­e­fits staff to be lo­cated in up to 16 lo­ca­tions across the coun­try.

“This means these in­di­vid­u­als will have faster ac­cess to dis­abil­ity ben­e­fits as well as crit­i­cal health care fund­ing and sup­port, men­tal health treat­ment, and fam­ily sup­port for their road to well­ness,’’ he says.

“By hir­ing more case man­agers on the front lines and crit­i­cally po­si­tion­ing them in com­mu­ni­ties where the need is great­est, we will en­sure that the vet­eran re­quir­ing case man­age­ment ser­vice is never left be­hind.’’

O’Toole says he is “proud’’ that the first roll out on the new dis­abil­ity ben­e­fits staff po­si­tions is tak­ing place at the head­quar­ters in Char­lot­te­town.

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